Balancewear or balance based torso weighting ( BBTW ) is an intervention intended to improve a patients upright postural control and balance, employing small (1/8,1/4, or 1/2) pound weights that augment sensory information via the trunk. The weights are attached to a vest garment that is fitted specifically for a patient’s body type. In BBTW the clinician performs an examination of the patient’s static, anticipatory, and reactive postural control to determine directional balance deficiencies. If the clinician notes a directional balance loss, small amounts of weight are strategically placed on the torso and postural control is reexamined. The clinician may make small changes to the location of the weights or add weights in other locations to enhance balance control and mobility. Following this evaluation, if patients and the clinician determine that BBTW results in improved balance a custom weighted garment is ordered.
The benefit is twofold. Firstly, the evaluation process is highly sensitive and balance improvement is noted immediately during the initial session. This allows for accurate decision making on the appropriateness of ordering balancewear. Secondly, the vest itself is easily donned/doffed is comfortable and breathable. This fosters patient compliance and effectiveness. BBTW is best suited to help patients with balance disorders secondary to neurological diseases including MS, traumatic brain injury, cerebral vascular accident, brain tumor, Parkinson’s, peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, cerebral palsy and others.